This picture has absolutely nothing to do with wood chips, daffodils or geology. I just liked the pic, and it made me think of a couple of songs, too..."Time for Me to Fly" and "I'll Fly Away."

Please read this...Still so many things to learn about...

So many things to learn about...and so little time...but, before we get started...a bit of a...

...WARNING: Some, if not most, of the stuff in this week's colyum could well interest one or two people. Maybe three. Maybe not...

...here we go...

...during the past week or so, I learned that...

...moving a big ol' pile of wood chips is hard work, as in the kind of work which somebody who types stories and takes pictures for a living is not used to do doing...

...The Other Half acquired the wood chips, which pretty much filled our driveway. The pile was approximately 43 stories tall when yours truly started moving it last Saturday morning...I think it was down to 42 stories by the time I wore out...

...in case you are interested, and I know you are, the wood chips are being used in The Other Half's garden...to control erosion...or weeds...or maybe the North Koreans, for all I know...

...I also learned during the past week that daffodils are members of the narcissus family, which I don't think I had known before...

...moving right along, more or less...while engaged in some intense research one day last week, this enemy of the people paid a visit to the Ilinois State Geological Survey website, where I learned some more stuff, thanks to an article which was posted on the site...

...ANOTHER WARNING: If you don't like rocks, you can probably stop reading right here...

...otherwise...did you know that people have been studying what exists beneath Illinois’ surface since the 1830s? (Just so you know, yours truly has not been around since the 1830s.)

The website explained that the "research exists as mountains of careful observations, combined with numerous individual research projects, distilled into three seminal scientific reports published decades ago on paper: crowning achievements of many a career at the Illinois State Geological Survey.

"Now freed from the book shelf, the collected knowledge of Illinois’ geologic past has been digitized, and released online as ILSTRAT – an interactive resource for the public, industry and government to understand the rocks beneath our feet. ILSTRAT brings to life the best scientific consensus of how Illinois was built – from the ground down.

"Did you know? In Illinois, we walk around on a relatively thin ‘skin’ of unconsolidated sand, soils, silts and glacial deposits that can range in thickness from a few feet to a few hundred feet. 

"Illinois also has a 'basement.' These are Precambrian rocks older than 542 million years, formed before complex multicellular lifeforms began to appear on Earth. They are found starting 1,500 feet deep in Jo Daviess County, but plummet continuously southward to the area around Shawnee National Forest where they are found 14,000 feet below the surface."

The article explained that geologists "are constantly making new discoveries and refining our understanding of rock layers."

For example, there's "an extensive update of Pennsylvanian rocks (323 million to 299 million years ago). The second is a compendium of fossils characteristic of the Platteville Dolomite (485 million to 444 million years ago).

"Because ILSTRAT is a living repository for the scientific community, industry and the public, geologists at other colleges, other state geologic surveys and industry can propose updates of information, logs and pictures. Even knowledgeable amateurs could help improve the database with their observations. 

"For instance, the discovery of a fossil in an area between two units could help better refine a formation’s age, or the type of biota that once lived there..."

...that magic word, again..."fossil"...sorry, can't help myself.

...after reading that article, yours truly was ready to head out for the day to enjoy some of the geology in the Prairie State...just one thing, though...there are still a lot of wood chips in that pile in our driveway...

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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